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Applications open for projects that address bee health


January 14, 2020
By Fruit and Vegetable

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The governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting projects that will strengthen the health of managed honey bees and Ontario’s beekeeping sector.

The funding is provided through a targeted application intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The targeted application intake to support managed bee health opened on September 3, 2019, but eligible applications are being received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

Since September 2019, the federal and provincial governments have committed more than $221,000 to support 135 projects. This initiative is delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).

These projects will help beekeepers make improvements to better manage pests, diseases and other stressors and grow their bee-related business. Factoring in project funding coming from the businesses themselves, this represents a joint investment of more than $602,000 in the sector.

Some projects supported through this targeted intake include:

  • Equipment to help managed honey bees survive over the winter months
  • Projects to detect and manage pests such as varroa mites
  • Technology to enhance production
  • Equipment to prepare operations for managing Small Hive Beetle
  • Market and customer research to help increase sales.

“Honey bees play an essential role in Ontario’s agricultural sector and in maintaining healthy ecosystems,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, in a released statement. “That’s why it’s so important to support and sustain the health of our honey bees. This investment has helped over 135 beekeepers so far to equip themselves with better tools to prevent diseases, improve winter survival, adopt best management practices and grow their businesses.”

In addition to producing honey, Ontario-managed honey bees pollinate a wide range of crops, including apples, apricots, asparagus, blueberries, squash and canola, both within Ontario and in other provinces.